How to Live Screen Print - Live Screen Printing 101: From a Print Shop
We did it.
This past weekend, we completed our first live screen printing event.
There were things that went great and things we learned along the way.
We thought we would take the time to recap how we prepared, what we brought, and the process of it all!
We hope this helps all the live screen printers out there that are looking to get into live screen printing at events.
Live screen printing events are a great way to make some cash, while also recruiting potential clients for your business.
How We Prepared:
1-2 Months Before:
We started preparing about 2 months before the event. We spent time researching events and picking certain ones we would like to apply for.
After compiling a list of events in our area, we reached out to the event coordinator to discuss the steps we needed to take.
We then paid all vendor fees and filled out an application.
After we were accepted was when the real work began.
We quickly started preparing all the promotional products and equipment we would need.
We narrowed down exactly what we would need so hopefully this list will help make it easier on you.
We had two different types of banners.
We had one that went on the walls of our tent and one that went out front.
The banners on the side of our tents explained what we were doing and a bit about our company. However the banner on the outside of the tent showed the 4 designs we would be offering customers to choose from.
Table Cloth: This one is pretty self explanatory. You’re going to need a table at your booth, so a table cloth does make it look more uniformed.
You can get one with your company logo, different colors, or even just plain black.
Screen Printing Equipment:
You may be thinking “I already own equipment”.
However, is this equipment able to be transferred to and from the venue? Equipment is heavy and many screen presses cannot be moved easily.
We decided on a Riley Hopkins 4 color 1 station press. It was the perfect press for what we needed.
On top of the actual press, you’re going to need a cart of sorts to put the press on.
For us, we built our own. We were able to modify it to exactly what we needed. We gave ourselves a bit of extra storage on the bottom to hold inks and extra squeegees.
Flyers & Business Cards:
Going into the event we had a few goals in mind.
Making some extra cash was one, but finding some great connections around our town to further expand our business was the main focus. Having flyers and business cards definitely helped us complete this goal.
Flyers and business cards are something that you can give to everybody, free of charge and it will get your name out there.
We were able to strike up some conversations with potential clients and leave them with multiple ways to contact us.
On our flyers we included a little freebie when they placed an order with us. We found this made a lot of those potential clients happy.
Whether you’re going to be screen printing tees, hoodie, or bags, make sure you stop up on your inventory ahead of time.
We decided to screen print t-shirts, so we stocked up on white tees varying in sizes (small-2xl).
With all the supply issues our supplies have had recently, we made sure to get a head start in searching for our inventory. We knew we wanted all the shirts to be the same color and brand.
We advise you to decide quickly what kind of product you would like to sell at the event. This will allow plenty of time to make sure you’re able to get exactly what you wanted.
Plus, you want to make sure it arrives on time.
Lights and Tents:
Most events will advise you to have a tent for your space.
These are quite easy to find and can be purchased at your local lowes or home depot. One thing you may not think you need but you should get? Lights!
Our event went from 10-10 pm. It started getting dark around 8 pm.
As you can assume, screen printing in the dark would be an impossible task. We made sure to be fully equipped with lights all over our tent to ensure our printers were able to see clearly what they were doing.
2 weeks before event:
Two weeks before the event was mainly filled with checking to make sure all our deliveries were right and what we wanted.
We spent a day reviewing and we had all the shirts and ink we needed.
We made sure the screen pressing equipment was working and put it together. We reviewed the flyers and printed the email list sheet for our table.
Thankfully! It all worked out and everything was delivered right and in a timely manner. Another big thing we advise you to do about 2 weeks in advance is finalize your designs.
We had four designs for our customers to choose from. A few weeks before we finalized what we wanted the four designs to be (this was the fun part!).
1 week before event:
The week before the event was the busiest week of them all.
If you’re a screen printer, you understand the process it takes to prepare the screens. After we had finalized our designs, we prepared the artwork to be printed.
Once our artwork was settled and ready to go, we had to print transparencies and burn our screens.
All of this took around two days to complete.
After the screens were prepared, we decided it was best to do a test run for the event.
We carried all our equipment to the parking lot, set up our tent, generator, press, and ran the process from start to finish.
We strongly advise you to make time to do this before your event. It helped us fix all the little bugs and kinks in our system, to ensure our day would run as smoothly as possible.
Once we had figured out our set up , we had some employees come and “purchase” a design and shirt from us. We fired up the generator and ran the whole process.
Bring a checklist during the test run to make sure you have everything needed to complete the tasks at hand. This will help tremendously with keeping everything organized.
For our specific event, we needed to pick up a vendor packet that contained all the information we needed.
It contained our parking pass, wristbands, and most importantly, a map. The map showed us where exactly we needed to park and where our booth would be.
Most event coordinators will let you know when you can pick up your packet.
We recommend picking it up as early as possible. This allows for some wiggle room if there are any problems with your location or booth, you’ll have a better chance at fixing the situation.
The Day Before
The day before the event was a breeze for us.
We made sure to have one final team meeting to get any questions or concerns out the way. We made sure to have enough gas for our generator and we backed everything up. One thing we liked about this event was you were able to set up your booth the night before.
Our event started at 9:30 am and everyone knows how hectic and crazy mornings can be. Being able to set up the night before was not only helpful, but we were able to scope out our spot and make sure everything fit like we planned.
Overall the event went amazing!
We were so happy with the connections we made and the people we met.
We are proud of our team for pulling together and getting the job done. We couldn’t of done it without them.
Although there is always room for improvement, we quickly learned so many new things that will help us with our next event.
Which is in two weeks so wish us luck!
If you found this interesting and would like to hire us for your next live event please get in contact with us! We can set up in a 10x10 area and we bring our own generator so power is not even an issue. Contact us today and tell us about how we can liven up your next event!